Friday, April 13, 2012

reason #156

I sat nervously tapping my foot on Tuesday as the printer in Dr. Panwalkar's exam room sputtered out my lab results.  I thought I was sunk.  Low counts would prohibit me from doing chemo. So many of my counts were low- but my neutrophil counts were just high enough for me to squeak by.

So we chatted about my digestive issues, and Dr. Panwalkar graciously re-filled my lidocaine/antacid cocktail.  As he was figuring out the amount to prescribe he asked, "Is it bad and you take a dose or two, (and then he leans closer and says quietly) or is it BAD and you drink it all day long."  Rick and I both nodded as I said BAAADDD.  He promptly prescribed TWO bottles.

He then checked me over from head to toe and asked all the usual questions.  We told him about our proposed insurance change that would provide more coverage affordably.  I told him sheepishly a lot of paper work would probably come his way and he smiled and said "of course, its okay," and dismissed the inconvenience I know will come with it.  We told him it was our plan A, and that we had plans B and C, and he nodded... knowing. He knows.  I am sure he has heard a variation of our story a hundred times.  I marvel how he keeps coming back every day to face us all again.  Our woes, our burdens, our pain... the cancer.  Thank goodness he knows and still comes back.

Thank goodness I also know he will laugh, loudly with his sides shaking, at the most innocuous things.  Thank goodness, I know there will be laughter.  And concern and care.

We conclude our visit and I decide to ask for a "state of the union" address... a "how am I doin' Doc?" kind of summary.

And this is reason # 156 why I love Dr. Panwalkar.  He smiles and says, "Well, you LOOK good, how do you feel?"  And I say, "I FEEL good."  So he says "Then, you are GOOD."

He then walks us down the hall to infusion where we part ways at the waiting room.  I go to sit down, but I know to look back one last time.  He is also looking back over his shoulder and when our eyes meet he raises 3 fingers and nods goodbye.  I nod back knowing his shorthand now.  He is saying he will see me in three weeks.

As I sit waiting for my pre-meds to kick in the scheduling nurse drops by.  She gets me an appointment for next week and then asks if I need lab work.  I answer yes, but then we see Dr. Panwalkar has said no labs for next week.  She smiles at me and says, "well, you must be doing good."

I smile back and say, indeed, I am.  For now, I am doing good.


  1. This could so be a chapter in your book you talented writer. What a wonderful doctor he is, you are truly blessed there. He shows a great deal of empathy which is sadly lacking in many (and that can be totally understandable too). He is well and truly in your corner fighting with you. I am so glad you could continue the treatment too. You are doing good and you are looking good too. Big hugs to you and yours.

  2. Really good to know you are good. I agree with Lilly that this is beautifully written. "Then you are good" speaks to the soul. Thanks and prayers.

  3. I always wonder why doctors choose oncology and how they face it every day. I imagine that patients like you are one of the reasons they *can* face it every day.

  4. It's all so amazing, this cancer doctor and struggling patient relationship. We pray, we trust God, we tell Him all our doubts, fears, and problems ---- but this one doctor seems to be the one our Lord has given who has a face we can see, a voice we can hear, and hands that we can feel touch us -- someone we can lean into and read their eyes. Your question to him, "How am I doing?", always brings those unique answers. I got those kind, too. There must be a list of them printed out somewhere. I remember asking once, when I felt like I was dying, how long I had left before I died. He said, "None of us are promised more than today -- take that and live it to the fullest!" So non-committal. But so true. I, too, wonder how these doctors come to work every single day to see us. But I think the Lord designs these special people with the ability to be compassionate, dedicated, and strong just for you and me. Just to be able to smile once in a while --- thank you, Lord!

  5. Having an oncologist who cares and shows you compassion as well as laughter makes all the difference in the world! I know my Dad loved his oncologist too for the very same reasons. How very blessed you are, Vicky. I love hearing that you are doing good! It makes my heart smile.

    Eileen xxoo

  6. i love this post! hae you ever thought of asking dr. p how he determines to come in day after day, knowing what he will be facing? that might be an interesting conversation.

    i'm sorry to hear you have to use the cocktail so much throughout the day. is this a temporary thing due to the radiation? hope so!

    continued prayers for the new insurance. the Provider knows our needs...hugs!

  7. If I could, I'd give him a virtual hug from here. He sounds like the perfect doctor...and I'm sure that God has all that planned...putting you with Dr. Panwalker.
    As you are doing good, know that it warms my heart.

  8. And, in truth "now" is all there is. How wonderful that you can rejoice in the good of now.

    What a gift to have such a sensitive, compassionate, competent doctor, Vicky. He seems to strike the perfect note between his professional stance and his ability to see you as a person and 'care' for you.

    A standing ovation for you and all those who love and care for you!!!

  9. :) Vicky this has made me smile and cry at the same time.

    This news and the unending goodness you pour out - has me a bit undone today. In a good way my sweet friend!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. You have an incredible doctor. He made ME smile reading his words. Thanks for sharing them with us. xoxo

  11. You have an excellent doctor and I agree with Jackie, God has assigned this particular doctor to YOU! It's in God's plan.

    I'm so glad to hear you are feeling good. Keep smiling Vicky.

  12. wow he sounds like a wonderful doctor, you are blessed even in the midst of difficult circumstances. God will be with you as you walk this road you are not alone.

  13. Well thank God for that.
    I am so happy for you. You are coming back to health, slow but sure.

  14. TWO THUMBS UP Girlfriend!!! :)
    Enjoy your weekend.

  15. This is good news! So thankful you have such a compassionate doctor.

  16. I love your doctor too!... I sure hope you're putting together a book. You write so beautifuly, Vicky.


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